Maldives welcomes first visitor of 2019

Maldives has welcomed its first tourist visitor of the year.

The celebrated guest is Khalid Kareem of Saudi Arabia, who is visiting the Maldives with his family to celebrate the New Year and the couple’s wedding anniversary at Bandos Maldives resort. They were positively thrilled to find out that they were the first visitors.

“We feel extremely honoured. This is the second time we are visiting the Maldives. First was in 2014. And the most amazing experience [of visiting the Maldives] is, the warmth of Maldivians. They are always smiling. It makes you feel so comfortable, like you are home,” the couple said excitedly.

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) organised the celebration as a welcome tea at the VIP Lounge of Velana International Airport. MMPRC staff escorted the visitors to the VIP lounge where they were welcomed by tourism minister Ali Waheed and MMPRC Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed along with senior officials of MMPRC, MACL, tourism ministry, Maldives Immigration and Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO).

Tourism minister Waheed presented Khalid with a special gift symbolising the good will of Maldivians, while MMPRC Managing Director Thoyyib presented an executive gift package from MMPRC. Gifts on behalf of MACL were presented by the Acting Managing Director of MACL Moosa Solih. The visitor was also awarded a seven-day free holiday voucher by AaaVeee Nature’s Paradise resort and return air tickets to Maldives by Oman Air.

Saudi Arabia has been a rapidly growing market to Maldives over the recent months.

Arrivals from Saudi Arabia show a positive growth of 16 per cent from January to November when compared to the same period in 2017. Saudi Arabia also remains the top country from the Middle East market in terms of arrivals. With the first visitor being a Saudi Arabian, this is a great opportunity to promote the destination in the Middle Eastern market.

Every year, local travel and tourism industry businesses collaborate with MMPRC, the corporation mandated with the promotion of Maldives as a tourist destination, to celebrate the first visitor as well as other milestone arrivals such as the 500k, 750k and the one millionth visitor.

A total of 1,333,456 tourists arrived to Maldives from January to November 2018. It is a seven per cent growth compared to the same period of 2017.

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